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Cherished Vehicle Insurance Test Drive FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier

Cherished Vehicle Insurance Test Drive FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier

08 June 2017

At Cherished Vehicle Insurance (CVI) we like to make sure our knowledge about specialist vehicle is as good as possible, so that when our clients contact us, we have first-hand knowledge of a variety of vehicles. On Saturday 20th May, Su Haddrell from the CVI team had the opportunity to test drive the rather fantastic FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier and provides the following report:

The FV432 is more commonly used for transporting troops when on exercise but this particular one had been relegated to the muddy fields of Leicestershire at a well-known tank driving company – Armourgeddon. With my oversized coveralls on and my instructor Gaz leading the way, I was introduced to Scarlet – my own personal tank for the afternoon. The tank was looking great, topped with a Fox Turret and purring on her tracks against the cold wind of the Leicester countryside. The back opened up and I clambered up into the turret for a passenger ride around the mud churned fields. After our first lap I switched into the driver’s seat, put on my helmet, goggles and headphones and took the controls. With my head peeking out of the top of the vehicle, we gave a wave to the photographer and I put my foot on the gas.

The FV432 is a very simple vehicle to drive. The ‘cockpit’ inside has two levers and two pedals in front of you. One pedal to go, one pedal to emergency stop. Taking your foot off the pedal and letting go of the levers stops the vehicle automatically. Two gauges on the right side indicated revs, speed and fuel and a gear stick on the left pushed the tank into neutral or reverse. To manoeuvre, it was a case of pulling the left lever to move left and the right to move right.

The FV432 is a slow moving but relaxing drive, rather like riding an old horse in a Western, you trundle casually across the ground and give the levers a pull when you want to change direction. The roar of the engine and steady thunder of tracks adds a joy to the experience when you feel the wind on your face and the hiss of static on the radio. The turning circle can be quite tight if you catch it at the right moment, and a little bit of pressure on the gas ensures the deep troughs in the mud are overcome with ease. A quick wave at the tank we were passing by, and it was time to manoeuvre for the next lap.

The next lap was with the top down, looking through a window of around ten inches that provided a surprisingly panoramic view ahead. The vehicle is slightly more uncomfortable in this position, as the seat is lowered so I was struggling to see and reach the levers at the same time! This was a slightly different driving experience – I was far more reliant on my instructor to guide me as I had no peripheral vision. The ride was fun and smooth, with small adjustments to the levers to keep the vehicle running in the right direction and turning at just the right point.

The FV432 is a nifty piece of machinery that picks up speed slowly but once it gets going it really goes. There’s not a lot of skill required, but perfecting the manoeuvrability of it can easily become an art form. Scarlet was loud, abrasive and wasn’t going to take any prisoners as I chugged easily through the quagmire, with a huge grin on my face and saluting at other drivers as I passed. Her handling takes a bit of muscle – no gentle nudges with Scarlet, but she responds quickly and smoothly, without argument. This is an all-round vehicle that can handle a variety of terrains, I highly recommend the FV432.

If you are thinking of buying a military vehicle you should probably visit the team at Armourgeddon and my instructor, Gaz, who will give you first-hand experience of driving a military vehicle. If you decide to go down this route give us a call as we can provide insurance for a variety of classic military and specialist vehicles.

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